Fishing Port Phillip Bay With Jack Auld
02 Dec 2013

Fishing Port Phillip Bay With Jack Auld

It’s been a very busy few months for me. Guiding for snapper, whiting and gummy sharks, teaching eager anglers how to sound anchor and present baits to catch their required species.

It’s been a funny start to the season, with the water temp not getting as cold as it usually does but then rising very slowly. This has caused the snapper bites to be out of pattern and some times frustrating, but the great news is the temp is now right and the catches will be very consistent for the rest of the season.

The whiting have made a great return to Westernport not only in numbers, but size too, with regular captures over 45cm. I have found the best baits to be thin strips of squid and mussel cocktails, and the best depth to be 3-4m, fishing the edges of the banks along the spit and tortoise head.

Squid have been a little harder in Westernport this spring, due to the dirty water and the weed due to the wind, but persistence has paid off. I have also been helping out Corey Green from the fisheries collecting specimens for studying in their calamari project in Port Phillip Bay, mainly concentrating in the southern half of the bay.

The numbers and size of squid in this region has been great. I’m working the weed beds in 3-10m using artificial jigs. The best colours have been greens or reds.

Gummy sharks have been a regular bycatch while fishing for snapper in Westernport, and this is why I always put out at least one fish bait in amongst the squid baits. The size range has been 3-8kg but I expect a few big models to turn up over the coming weeks.

Snapper are on nearly everyone’s mind at the moment, and the season is nearly in full-swing, with bag limit catches coming in most trips. It’s been a testing season with the amount of mutton birds in Port Phillip and weed in Westernport, but if you think a little differently you will still be able to secure your catch.

Fishing the eastern channel in Westernport seems to have less weed and the north arm should be better, as the small tides come round this week. With the mutton birds, try using a few more snapper snatcher rigs and changing your burley to pellet mixes, as they leave that alone. The snapper in Port Phillip are now spreading out and there are a lot of fish from Black Rock to Mt Eliza in 12-16m. Best bait is roughy and silver whiting at the moment.

In other news, I have just teamed up with Matthew Hunt, and will be running charters out of Launching Way for snapper until Christmas, then into Westernport after that, so anyone looking to get out, give Matthew a call for bookings.

Cheers for now and remember, life’s better in a Haines Hunter.

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